Manchester United closed the gap on 4th placed Manchester City to a single point with victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford, but on an afternoon where the opposition were finally relegated from the Premier League after an awful campaign, there were precious few positives to salvage from another lackluster display.
Manager Louis van Gaal would do well to talk up his teenage sensation Marcus Rashford, who notched his seventh goal of a memorable campaign in the first half to give United a lead they never truly built on. A hollywood cross-field pass from Wayne Rooney to Antonio Valencia preceded a low cross from the Ecuadorian, with Rashford’s low finish rolling beyond Brad Guzan, but United offered precious little despite their dominance in possession.
And Villa almost staved off relegation late on when substitude Rudy Gestede was denied a tap-in by a Daley Blind clearance before seeing a header hit the woodwork. Memphis looked dangerous in spurts and saw a deflected chance clip the post himself, but in truth, when the full-time whistle came, it was met with relief after another uncomfortable afternoon at the Theatre of Dreams that threatened to turn into a farcical occasion.